Morehead City/Atlantic Beach – August 15, 2019
Matt, of Chasin’ Tails, reports that inshore flounder fishing has been good. Targeting deep holes around docks, bridges, and the port wall has been productive for anglers with Carolina-rigged live mud minnows and mullet.
Sheepshead fishing has been steady, with Carolina-rigged fiddler crabs and sea urchins working great along bridge pilings, docks, and rock jetties.
Slot-sized red drum have been hit or miss in the area (with the hotter water temperatures), but trophy “old” drum fishing has begun in the sound and rivers north of the area.
Speckled trout fishing continues to be productive, with anglers finding fish around docks and rocks in the ICW. Live bait with a slip cork has been the best tactic, as well as targeting the 5-15’ water depths.
Nearshore anglers are catching good numbers of spanish mackerel around AR-315 and Cape Lookout. Trolling spoons behind smaller planers has been most productive for quantities of fish, but the larger, citation-class fish are being caught while slow-trolling live baits.
King mackerel (up to 40 lbs.) are hitting cigar minnows on Mac-A-Hoos and slow-trolling live baits. Most fish have come from east of the Cape, but nearshore ARs and the shipping channel have also been holding fish.
Cody, of Freeman’s Bait and Tackle, reports that surf anglers have been connecting with spanish mackerel while casting metal jigs in the mornings and evenings. Bluefish are mixed in, and they’re hitting Stingsilvers and other glass minnow style jigs.
Red drum are being caught with Carolina-rigged shrimp and cut mullet. A few black drum are being found in the same holes, but they prefer shrimp as bait.
Flounder are hitting soft plastics fished on 1/4 and 1/2 oz. jig heads. There are a few keepers but most are short, and bottom rigs are producing spot, croakers, and lizardfish.
Inshore anglers have been hooking into flounder around docks while fishing Carolina-rigged live mullet and mud minnows. A few red drum are in the same areas and eating the same baits, but hot water temps have the fish scattered. Topwater plugs have also hooked a few fish, with the topwater bite being best in the marshes in the early morning hours.
Speckled trout are being caught in the Haystacks and North River marshes with soft plastics fished along deeper grass banks.
Nearshore anglers are landing good-sized king mackerel while trolling dead bait rigs around NW Places, Big 10/Little 10, and the ARs.
Chris, of Mount Maker Charters, reports that large spanish mackerel are feeding on the surface at the nearshore ARs, and they’re being caught with casting jigs and flies.
Flounder (up to 5 lbs.) are around the same structured areas, and they’re hitting bucktails with soft plastic trailers. Gray trout are suspended just above the structure, and anglers have had success while jigging Stingsilver jigs.
King mackerel are staged up at ARs and ledges in the 10+ mile range. The kings are hitting both dead bait rigs and slow-trolled live baits.
Bottom fishing has been great this summer, with large amberjacks, black sea bass, beeliners, grouper, and American red snapper (released) all being caught on cut baits.
Dave, of Cape Lookout Charters, reports that red drum fishing has been good inshore, with fish scattered from the deeper holes around the inlet to way back into the marshes. Topwater plugs work well in the shallow marsh bays in the early morning, and then switching to live baist or soft plastics is more productive in the afternoon.
A few flounder are mixed in the same areas, with most being caught on Carolina-rigged live bait.
Speckled trout are holding along deeper channels in the marsh, and they’re hitting soft plastics fished under a popping cork.
Bluefish are schooled up around the inlet, and casting glass minnow jigs to the surface feeding fish has been getting strikes.
Justin, at Breakday Charters, reports that nearshore ARs are loaded with citation-class spanish mackerel. Slow-trolling live baits will catch some of the larger fish, but trolling and casting spoons has been generating easy limits.
Jigging glass minnow style jigs around structure has been producing gray trout (up to 5 lbs.).
Large flounder are also holding tight to the structure on these Ars, and bucktails have been most productive when searching the area for pockets of flatfish.
King mackerel and scattered mahi are in the 15+ mile range, and they’re hitting dead bait rigs and trolled ballyhoo.
Bottom fishing has been very good with grouper, keeper black sea bass, and amberjacks staged up at rocks and live bottoms in the same range.
Tom, of Dancin’ Outlaw, reports that large wahoo have made a good showing in the Stream, with fish up to 50 lbs. being caught on skirted ballyhoo.
Mahi are being caught in good numbers, too, with recent trips still finding a bull or two to hook into. A few blackfin tuna are scattered in the counts, and they’re hitting the same skirted baits.
Swordfish have been caught on trips targeting the fish in deeper water.
Large king mackerel are being caught when pulling baits near rocks and live bottom areas, and nearshore anglers are finding limits of bluefish and large spanish mackerel while trolling spoons.
Larry, of Oceanana Pier, reports that a few legal-sized flounder have been caught with Carolina-rigged live baits in holes just past the breakers.
Bluefish and spanish mackerel are hitting Gotcha plugs cast to surface feeding schools. Early morning and evening hours are seeing the most fish on top.
Bottom rigs tipped with shrimp and Fishbites bait strips have produced sea mullet, croakers, and spot.